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happy in a dream, and as content to enjoy a happiness in a fancy, as others in a more apparent truth and reality. There is surely a nearer apprehension of any thing that delights us in our dreams, than in our waked senses. Without this I were unhappy; for my awaked judgment discontents me, ever whispering unto me, that I am from my friend ; but my friendly dreams in night requite me, and make me think I am in his arms. I thank God for my happy dreams, as I do for my good rest; for there is a sa♣ tisfaction in them unto reasonable desires, and such as can be content with a fit of happiness. And surely it is not a melancholy conceit to think we are all asleep in this world, and that the conceits of this life are as mere dreams to those of the next, as the phantasms of the night to the conceits of the day. There is an equal delusion in both, and the one doth but seem to be the emblem or picture of the other; we are somewhat more than ourselves in our sleeps, and the slumber of the body seems to be but the waking of the soul. It is the ligation of sense, but the liberty of reason, and our waking conceptions do not match the fancies of our sleeps. At my nativity my ascendent was the earthly sign of Scorpius; I was born in the planetary hour of Saturn, and I think I have a piece of that leaden planet in me. I am no way facetious, nor disposed for the mirth and galliardize of company; yet in one dream I can com
pose a whole comedy, behold the action, apprehend the jests, and laugh myself awake at the conceits thereof. Were my memory as faithful as my reason is then fruitful, I would never study. but in my dreams; and this time also would I choose for my devotions; but our grosser memories have then so little hold of our abstracted understandings, that they forget the story, and can only relate to our awaked souls a confused and broken tale of that that hath passed.
The Religio Medici was, on its publication, much talked of in the literary world. It exhibits various marks of a superior mind, and of a cast of thought strikingly peculiar and original. Having been translated into Latin, and several other languages, it was thus dispersed throughout Europe. By foreigners, in particular, it brought upon him the charge of atheism, though there can be little question that he was a friend both to natural and revealed religion.
2. In 1646, he published his "Pseudodoxia Epidemica; or, Enquiries into very many received Tenets and commonly presumed Truths." The more popular title of this book is
"Brown's Vulgar Errors;" it is probably the most known of all his works. He treats his subject very methodically; first considering the general causes of error, and then enquiring into the origin of each in particular. The treatise is divided into seven books; of which the first contains his general principles. In the second, he treats of errors arising from mineral and vegetable bodies'; in the third, of errors relative to animals; "in the fourth, of those which respect man; in the fifth, of things questionable in pictures; in the sixth, of geographical and philosophical errors; and in the seventh, of errors relating to history. On account of the rather copious extracts from the preceding article, and of those I intend giving from the next, I must decline exhibiting a specimen from this; and shall only observe, that notwithstanding the singularity and quaintness which pervade it, the work displays great learning and penetration.
3. His next production was entitled " Hydriotaphia-Urn-burial; or, A Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns lately found in Norfolk: together with the Garden of Cyrus; or, The Quincuncial Lozenge, or Net-work Plantations of the Ancients, artificially, naturally
mystically, considered; with sundry Observa tions;" 1658. These treatises are extremely curious. In the Hydriotaphia, there is an air of elevated solemnity highly impressive, often awful. It abounds in strange and out-of-theway observations, which betray a very singular texture of mind. On the finding of these sepulchral urns, he takes, occasion to tell all he knows or can collect of ancient sepulture. But the origin of the treatise himself shall explain.
In a field of Old Walsingham, not many months past, were digged up between forty and fifty urns, deposited in a dry and sandy soil, not a yard deep, not far from one another: not all strictly of one figure, but most answering these described; some containing two pounds of bones, distinguishable in skulls, ribs, jaws, thigh-bones, and teeth, with fresh impressions of their combustion. Besides, the extraneous substances, like pieces of small boxes, or combs handsomely wrought, handles of small brass instruments, brazen nippers, and in one some kind of opal.
Near the same plot of ground, for about six yards compass, were digged up coals and incinerated substances, which begat conjecture that this was the Ustrina, or place of burning their bodies, or some sa
crificing place unto the manes, which was properly below the surface of the ground, as the are and altars unto the gods and heroes above it.
That these were the urns of Romans, from the common custom and place where they were found, is no obscure conjecture; not far from a Roman garrison, and but five miles from Brancaster, set down by ancient record under the name of Brannodunum. And where the adjoining town, containing seven parishes, in no very different sound, but Saxon termination, still retains the name of Burnham, which being an early station, it is not improbable the neighbour parts were filled with habitations, either of Romans themselves, or Britons Romanized, which observed the Roman customs. * * * *
He that looks for urns and old sepulchral relics, must not seek them in the ruins of temples, where no religion anciently placed them. These were found in a field, according to ancient custom, in noble or private burial; the old practice of the Canaanites, the family of Abraham, and the burying place of Joshua, in the borders of his possessions; and also agreeable unto Roman practice, to bury by highways, whereby their monuments were under eye: memorials of themselves, and mementos of mortality unto living passengers, whom the epitaphs of great ones were fain to beg to stay and look upon them- a language, though sometimes used, not se